Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Nonfiction - the "other" inspiration in my life
Happy Wednesday All! Time for another Blog Chain round. Sandra started this chain with this topic:
We all know it's important to read fiction if you want to write fiction, but what about reading non-fiction? How much non-fiction do you read? What kinds of non-fiction books do you read, and why? Has reading non-fiction influenced your fiction writing style?
As most of you know, I am actually a nonfiction writer in addition to the work I do in fiction. And yes, I read a ton of nonfiction. Most of the time the nonfiction is related to whatever nonfiction project I am working on, as I typically read the competitive titles as well as other books for research. But, I also read a ton of nonfiction as research for my fiction.
Most of the fiction-related nonfiction I read is not related to writing craft. It is usually related to the topic I am writing about. For example, when I wrote Lacrimosa I read the nonfiction news accounts of Peeter Stubbe's killing spree from the 16th century (it was featured in Lacrimosa at one point). I also read up on angel mythology and religion to contribute to my world building. For Transcend, I read nonfiction books about New York's gilded age and mental health institutions of the early 19th century.
Currently, I am working on a book related to some occult research conducted the early 20th century in Germany and Russia, so you know I will be reading some books related to that - all in the name of research.
The truth is, I am in information hound. I love learning for the sake of learning. Now that I am a writer, I get to fulfill that need more and more.
The last part of the topic asked if the nonfiction had influenced our writing style. Although I stated that I don't typically read writing craft books, I have read a couple that have profoundly changed my approach to writing:
The Artist's Way and Save the Cat.
Both of these books significantly impacted my fiction writing, helping me become a better storyteller.
What about you? Do you read nonfiction?
For more on this topic, check out Sandra's from yesterday, and Katrina's post tomorrow.